Sunday, July 31, 2011

Here We Go Again

Monday - hot yoga, and let me just say I rocked this class!!  Probably had something to do with the fact it wasn't super humid (it was hot - just  not humid) so perfect conditions for me.  I even managed to do the first part of dancers which I haven't really done since I hurt my knee!

Tuesday - 2.5 mile walk, nothing super exciting here. 

Wednesday - pool swim.  So I got to the usually empty pool and it wasn't empty.  The swim lanes were all occupied so I got into the little open area and created my own swim lane.  When one lane finally opened up, I missed my chance to grab it.  Which, okay, lots of people in the pool and not everyone can get a lane.  But this person wasn't even swimming - they were doing weird jumping exercises and mainly using one end of the lane (while putting their feet into the other lane).  Really?  You couldn't stay in the open area and do this nonsense?  Grr.  Finally another lane opened up and I grabbed it.  At this point I had no idea what lap I was on, so figured I'd go for time.  I was in the process of turning when I heard a voice asking if they could share my lane.  It took me awhile to realize they were talking to me but when I did I turned around and gave them the thumbs up sign.  It was my old pool friend - I usually see her in the pool around this time since we are both generally training for the Danskin.  I got back from my lap and we started chatting.  Which then meant I really didn't have a good idea of how much time I'd swum.  I think I ended up doing about 30 minutes give or take (after I subtracted out the chatting time).

Thursday - time to go conquer the hills on the bike.  Only this time, ride all the hills!  I got up the first three (which are really just one somewhat continuous, very long hill, but I like to think of it in three pieces).  I got to the next hill which is my nemesis hill and once again got really familiar with my down shift.  Pretty soon I was on the lowest possible gear.  And still struggling.  But I made it to the top.  Barely.  And stopped.  My legs were shaking and I really needed a drink of water.  Fortunately there is a water fountain at the top of the hill!  As I paused for my drink, I thought for a second about ditching out again on the rest of my ride but then I reminded myself that I only have a few weeks left.  Well, crap.  Guess it's time to bike then.  So across the bridge I went.  I ended up in the lowest of low gears a couple more times.  Which is not normal for me.  However, making it up the hills does help with my confidence, even if I made up in a super low gear.  After all, isn't that why bikes have gears?  So you can use them all? :)   

Friday - lake swim.  It was really, really cold.  Guess the few hours of sun didn't do much to warm up the water!  Ha!  I did my usual routine to get into the water.  Step in, stop and stand.  Okay, my legs are getting used to the water.  Step in a little more, until the water is up to my waist.  Stand still.  Splash a little water on my arms and chest.  Creep in a little more.  Splash water on my neck.  Inch a little further into the water.  I'm now about chest high.  Deep breath.  A couple more deep breaths.  One more deep breath.  Okay, maybe one more deep breath.  And submerge myself!  There - that wasn't so bad was it?  The waves were definitely on the wavy side today.  But all in all a good swim.

Saturday - Boy, I am long-winded this week in review.  And still two more days to go!  With basically two weeks left until the triathlon (gasp!!  two weeks!?!) it was time for a brick.  A brick is basically doing two activities back to back.  For me that usually means bike followed by a walk.  I packed up and drove to the park only to find the parking lot being used for some sort of festival.  Plan B - drive up the road to the next parking lot.  With today supposed to be "hot" (yes hot in Seattle has a very different connotation than in other parts of the world) I decided to break out the running skirt.  When I got on my bike I realized I had put on the wrong skirt, I had grabbed the one with the shorter shorts underneath.  Oh snap.  Well not much I could do at this point.  So I showed everyone on the trail a little more than I would have liked.  But not a scandalous amount.  At the beginning I was super self-conscious but eventually that passed and I just rode.  It was actually a really good ride!  I got back to my car, threw the bike in, grabbed my hat, and was back on the trail.  The first couple hundred yards or so were quite painful, with my legs feeling like concrete.  But finally my legs started feeling more normal.  Two miles later I was done with my brick.

Sunday - long (run) walk day.  Okay I had something really good here, but it got eaten by blogger so I will attempt to recreate it.  I headed to the park.  The weather had definitely taken a turn from yesterday.  But 9 miles in overcast weather makes for a much more happier Emily.  For whatever reason I decided I didn't need my hat.  And I didn't until the light mist turned into a heavy mist and then into full out rain.  The rain was streaming into my eyes and it was now that I wished I had a hat or sunglasses or anything really to keep the rain out of my face.  I think people are generally more friendly when the weather isn't the best.  One guy said "another crazy" as he ran by me.    With about a mile to go to my turn-around the rain finally subsided back to the light mist.  Much better!!  Finally I reached the turn around point.  I thought I was moving at a good pace but then Will Smith's "Getting Jiggy With It" shuffled on my iPod and a big smile came across my face and I found I could push the pace a little bit more.  As usual, I kept checking in with my knee.  I spend so much time on any given walk thinking about my knee.  Is that a normal pain?  Did I step wrong?  Is it a real knee pain?  What about that?  Is that a knee pain?  I'm  happy to say my knee did well.  I did have some hip pain, but believe you me, I was almost happy to have hip pain and no knee pain!  Finally 9 miles completed.  I decided to hit hot yoga (for yin yoga or as I like to call it, gentle yoga) to help work out my muscles.

And there you have it.  Another week of training in the books!!  I will be so glad once the triathlon is over and I can focus on the half marathon training.   I am now in my comfy clothes relaxing with a couple ice packs watching TV.  Oh 9 miles, it has been a long time.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Five Senses Friday

The donations keep pouring in for Rachel's Birthday Wish.  I am in awe at the overwhelming support for such a beautiful little girl whose life was cut so tragically short.  I have been so touched by this story and I can't help myself - I keep checking her page.  Part of what has drawn me in is how many people have been inspired by Rachel - it isn't a few large donations, but so many people, who like me, have been encouraged by her story.  In addition to her mycharity: water page, you can also donate to help her family with her medical bills here.

  • Cinnamon and nutmeg, or in other words, pumpkin pie!  Let's take a stroll down memory lane, shall we?  A few months ago, I shared with you about making Black Bean & Pumpkin burgers.  I've made them a few times since.  But this last time I accidentally bought pumpkin pie mix, rather than pumpkin.  Oops!!  So my burgers not only smell like pumpkin pie, they kinda taste like it too.  It actually wasn't too bad of a mistake.  Not that I would do it again.  Note to self - you should probably read the label of the can you are buying.

  • Ice cream sammich!!  It was ice cream treat day at work earlier this week!!  Yahoo!!

  • This was a tie between gorgeous views of Mt. Rainier and a swarm of bugs right before I biked into them.  Fortunately I saw the bugs in time to shut my mouth! :)

  • I had something good for this but I forgot.  So we'll go with an old school S Club 7 song shuffling through my iPod.

  • The SUN!!!  Summer was here briefly (followed by rain) and may make a return again.  And the after-effects of the sun, namely a sunburn.  Yikes!!  Forgot to wear a hat on my long walk.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Rachel's Birthday Wish

A week ago there was a huge, multiple car accident on I-90.  My window at work basically overlooks the stretch of the freeway where the accident occurred.  I wasn't at work when it happened but I did see the aftermath as it took several hours to clear the scene.  A 9 year old girl was killed in this accident.  A beautiful little girl, whose wish for her 9th birthday was to raise $300 to provide clean water to developing countries.  She fell $80 short.  And then the accident happened - a horrible tragedy.  Out of the tragedy has come an amazing, incredible story.  Her donation page was re-opened and donations started pouring in.  She has now raised over $475K (the last time I looked at her page) and it is still growing.  

This is such an heart-wrenching yet heart-warming story and has really touched me.  Such an outpouring of love and support in the face of tragedy.  And such hope.  How good can come out of such a tragedy.    

Since I've been writing this the total has gone to over $483K.    Check out Rachel's webpage.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Time Keeps Marching On

And here we are with another look back at the week that was.  But first, I think I’ve finally decided on the half that I am participating in!  I was weighing the You Go Girl Half (in Tacoma – local, sort of) and the San Jose Rock ‘N Roll (not local at all).  My potential plans to go to Europe have been moved from September to November (still potential, but I have my fingers crossed) which means I’m free to do the YGG in Tacoma.  Oh wait, I forgot some fanfare.  TA DA – I’m doing the You Go Girl Half in Tacoma!  It’s not that I won’t ever do the San Jose RNR, but it’s probably not in the cards this year.   So in less than 4 weeks now I will do my one and only triathlon of the season and then four weeks later I will do the YGG Half!  Yikes!!  Completely walking it to test out my ability to walk a half and hopefully come in close to 3 hours and 30 minutes so I can feel much more comfortable about doing the Tinker Bell & Princess Half in 2012.  Oh the things I do for Disney races! :)

Monday – hot yoga (again it was ridiculously hot and humid and so I spent a good deal of the class on the floor)

Wednesday – got up early and went swimming (36 lengths).  But I wasn’t done yet!  After work I rode my bike to start working on my hill skills.  Oh boy.  Maybe I should have started earlier.  I was definitely struggling and dropped down to the lowest gear possible (which I usually don’t need to do) but the good news is I made it up my really big nemesis hill.  The bad news – it took a lot out of me so I decided to cut my bike ride short.  I ended up skipping out on four hills, but I did add one in.  Did I wimp out?  Yeah, hindsight being what it is, I wimped out.  I should have kept pushing, but I didn’t.  I still have time and I know now I really need to work on hills!!

Thursday – got up early and went for a 2 mile walk.  We’ve been having raccoon issues so I was a little  nervous that there might be raccoons out and about.  But apparently it was late enough in the morning (even if my alarm didn't feel all that late) that the raccoons were all asleep after any nighttime activities, such as getting into garbage cans.

Friday - BRRRRR!!!  With the triathlon not that far off it was time to go jump in the lake.  Holy cow, it was cold.  Chilly!!  Freezing!!  I swam for about 20 minutes and that was enough.

Saturday - time to get up early and go for a bike ride.  I thought for a second about going back to the hills but decided to keep it flat and simple.

Sunday - I think summer has finally arrived!!  Which means I probably should have gotten up a tad earlier to beat the heat to do my 8 miles.  Okay, so it's Seattle and really not that hot.  And I shouldn't complain since all I've been doing lately is complaining about a lack of of summer.  And now I'm complaining that it is here!  Have I mentioned I like to complain? :)  Anyway, back to the walk.  I got to the turn around point and I was so thankful because it meant I could head back towards shade.  Beautiful, lovely shade.  Hey, but guess what?  The sun moves.  And so did my shade.  So my long stretch became only small little patches.  But I still enjoyed them, along with the slight breeze that would blow through every once in awhile.  And I might have slowed down a tad while in the shade to prolong the coolness.  Finally I was done!!  

Friday, July 22, 2011

Five Senses Friday

Okay, so how happy am I that treat receipts are back at Starbucks?! Sooooo happy!! Although this could be quite dangerous (it usually is come to think of it). Because now I almost feel obligated to go to Starbucks in the morning to get my treat receipt (because it is a good deal) and then I have to go in the afternoon since I have a treat receipt (and I can’t let it go to waste). Oh dear. Hopefully we can keep this under control.

  • A gorgeous view of Seattle on a SUNNY day!!  Is summer finally here?!

  • Interesting news which I'm still digesting...


  • Like I wimped out on my bike ride (which I did)

  • Gelato (pistachio, strawberry basil, coconut)

  • Garlic

Monday, July 18, 2011

Week in the Rear View Mirror

Here we are again - at the end (or beginning?) of another week.  Before we look back at last week's activities, let's talk about gnocchi!  (Ha!  Did you think I was going to say Harry Potter?  Don't worry - that's next.)  Friday night was an exciting night.  I started off at a cooking class to learn how to make gnocchi.  It was a really good class (and yummy!) and now I think even I can make gnocchi!  So much so that I bought several kitchen tools to help me.  The question is will I ever use these new gadgets?  I don't know but I was very impressed by the gnocchi and how simple it seemed.  Okay, maybe not simple, but definitely do-able.  And the teacher mentioned you could make pumpkin gnocchi!!  Color me intrigued!  What color is intrigued anyway?  Maybe an orange hue?

Gnocchi class done and it was time to head to the movies!  I had been hopeful to re-read the book or at least re-watch the movie but I ran out of time.  I am so, so, so not a late night person, but here I was ready to watch Harry Potter at 11 PM.  I think this calls for some diet coke!  Surprisingly I did not fall asleep.  I was so drawn into the movie.  I won't say too much about the movie (in case you haven't seen it) but I laughed and I cried.  I was impressed at how much they fit into the movie (even though there was a few things I really wished would have made it like Percy and Kreacher at the end) but you can't include everything.  Such a good movie.  I am going to miss looking forward to the next installment of HP.

Okay, back to what's going on in the world of training.  Especially since I realized I have 4, count 'em 4 weeks left until my triathlon!!  Holy cow!!  Um, when did that happen??

Monday - early morning 2 mile walk through the woods and I capped off the night with hot yoga (it was a much better class than last time)

Friday - pool swim (36 laps)

Saturday - after my late HP excursion, I slept in.  Until 10!  Yikes!!  Well really 9 something but I didn't get out of bed until 10.  My calendar called for 7 miles so I laced up my shoes and headed out.  It was so humid and sticky.  Now when I say humid, I realize Seattle humidity is not that bad (and somewhat non-existent some would even say).  I used to live in Houston and that is serious humidity!!  But for Seattle, this was quite humid.  I was regretting my choice of a long sleeve shirt and was even contemplating ripping it off.  But that would not be a pretty sight.  And besides, I'd have to carry my shirt.  So that was not a real option.  Ugh.  The air was so heavy, but finally I was done.  Back when I first started walking (and long before I started running), several people had told me walking was way harder than running.  At least harder when doing longer distances.  I scoffed at this thinking.  How could running be easier?  But as my walking miles are increasing I am remembering back to these comments and realizing how true they are.  I think a lot of it is how much faster you can go when you are running.  Anyway, walking is where I am at now and I am happy that I am able to do at least that.

Sunday - After the See Jane Run (Walk) 5K, I got back in the car and drove to the park.  I probably could have stayed and ridden my bike near the race site, but I wasn't super familiar with the area so I decided to go to my park.  It had started raining as I was leaving.  Boo.  But maybe it would stop?  Nope.  I got to the park and started off on my ride.  And then realized I had forgotten my sunglasses.  But it wasn't sunny!  Yes, but it would help keep the wind/bugs/rain/etc out of my eyes.  I hadn't gone far so it would have been easy to turn around and go back to the car.  But I was afraid that if I went back to my car I would pack up and leave.  So I rode on.  Through the biting rain.  It let up a little until I reached the turn around point and then it got worse.  But at least I was heading back to my car.  I finished up, completely soaking and shivering.  First stop - Starbucks for a nice WARM cuppa!!  Second stop - home and a nice HOT shower.

And there you have it.  Time to step up the training since I only have 4 WEEKS!!  Ack!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

See Jane Run 5K

Way back when I signed up for this race, I was thinking it would be my triumphant return to running. I had it all planned out. I was going to do the couch to 5k program and then run this race. What is it they say about the best laid plans? With my physical therapist putting the ixnay on running, I settled for See Jane Walk. I mean a race with chocolate and champagne?  I'm so there, even if I am walking. Plus I needed a July race anyway.

I woke up super early and got there in time to grab one of the last parking spots in the lot. Which, okay, I guess makes up for the fact I was there so early. I quickly got in line for the real bathroom. The line was already ridiculously long. I do have to say my one complaint (well okay I did have one other MAJOR complaint, but we'll get to that) was the lack of restrooms. They only had 9 port-o-potties to start with for I don't know how many women. Sometime after the race started they did bring in more, but a little late in my opinion.  Hopefully they will learn their lesson for next time.

It's funny who you can run into at these events. This time it was my massage therapist, or one of my regular massage therapists. She was running the half. We chatted for a minute and then went our separate ways.

They did a cute warm-up and it was time to send the half-ers on their way and I got back in line for the bathroom. With just minutes to spare I made it to the front of the bathroom line and over to the starting line.

And we were off!! My time goal for this race was under 50 minutes. I wasn't feeling super fast right out of the gate but finally settled into a good rhythm.  It felt like I had just started out when I saw the fast girls coming back.  Wow - it is something to watch the fast girls.  They are FAST!!

It was definitely not nearly as humid as it was yesterday (oh wait - I haven't told you about that yet!  Next post, I promise).  I started reeling in people one by one (including a few who were jogging!).  I got to the turn around point and the volunteer told me I was at 24 minutes and some change.  Double that and it would be cutting it close time-wise (but I knew I had a little bit of grace time).  So I would have my work cut out for me if I wanted to beat 50 minutes.  As I turned around and headed back I saw how many people were behind me!  I may not be the fastest but I am not the slowest!!  That gave me a lift and I powered on, reeling in a few more people.

With under a mile left I saw the first of the half marathoners heading towards me.  Again - FAST!!  Before I knew it, I was rounding the corner towards the finish line.  There was one woman in front of me and I was just about to pass her when she started running and I couldn't overcome it.  It was all I could do not to run across the finish line.  I so wanted to!  But I am committed to this path of no running to try and heal my knee.  The clock was nearing 48 and I put on my own finishing kick to cross the line before it hit 48.  My official time, you ask?  Why 46.41 which means a 15.24 pace!  Yahoo!!

I crossed the finish line and saw medals and my eyes lit up!  I love medals!  But no one was giving me a medal.  So I walked over and asked if everyone got a medal (because you'd better believe I'm getting me a medal if they are giving them out).  They directed me over to a table to fill out a rain check for a medal.  They ran out of 5K medals.  And this would be my MAJOR complaint.  I didn't get my medal.  Boo.  But they are going to mail it to me.

I wandered around the expo, got my champagne (so what if it was 10 in the morning - it is 5 o'clock somewhere!) and chocolate and headed out just as it started to rain.  Oh great.  And here I was on my way to ride my bike.  But that is a story for another post.

Ready to Walk


Friday, July 15, 2011

Five Senses Friday

Oh goodness, has it ever been a long week.  But it's OVER!  Or almost over.  It will be over shortly.  Right?  Right?  And, in case you were wondering I was happy to hear Posh & Becks had their baby girl.  I do so love Posh Spice.  And Harper Seven is totally growing on me! 

  • US Women's soccer team WIN

  • A rooster cock-a-doodle-dooing

  • Peanut Butter Oreos - delicious!!

  • Onions

  • Super excited to see Harry Potter 7 tonight!!!  Although it was a tough call between HP and Winnie the Pooh! :)

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Where Did the Week Go?

Up here in beautiful sunny, no, wait – rainy, no, wait – sunny, no, wait – overcast, no wait...  Restart.  Up here in Seattle where the weather can’t seem to make up its mind if we are in summer yet, time keeps marching by and here we are at the end of another week.  It is also a crazy time at work so not much has gotten done in the world of training.  But we’ll take a quick peek back just for fun!

Monday – this was the day of the bloody shoe walk.  Seven long miles and all I have to show for it was a blister!  The knee felt good and I think I may have made a breakthrough in physical therapy. 

Tuesday thru Thursday – instead of saying nada, zip, zero I get to say I came home each night and did 100 sit ups.  Hey – something is better than nothing!
Friday – I woke up, didn’t push my snooze button and got up and ready for a swim.  I get to the gym and find a sign saying “The Pool is Closed for Maintenance”.  Boo!  Well what to do now?  I didn’t want to waste my early morning wake up!  Fortunately I had my extra gym bag in the car, so I walked all the way back to the car to get my gym bag and ended up on the treadmill.  Not quite swimming, but still good.  I did 2 miles in just over 31 minutes.  Which is keeping with the 15 to 16 minute mile pacing I’ll be needing.  Plus another 100 sit ups when I got home.

Saturday - Another wake up, another urge to press the snooze button...  But I made it out of bed and did a 3 mile walk through the woods.  With a squirrel, a few bunnies, and several dogs - most of them friendly, but two suspect dogs but fortunately they stayed close to their owners.  Oh, and shoelace that looked an awful lot like a snake!!  I've decided to take FF's advice and pretend I am Snow White while walking through the woods! :)  I felt super slow at first - I think my body was still trying to wake up.  I found my stride close to the end.  So what if it wasn't the fastest walk I've had.

It'll probably be pretty quiet around here for the next week or so.  But I promise I'll be back!!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Does a Bloody Shoe Make Me Look Like a Runner?

So either I'm super hard core, or a glutton for punishment.  Not sure which.  In any case, I woke up bright and early on Monday.  What?  No work today!  But I had a plan.  That plan was to walk 7 miles and then make it to hot yoga.  Well I accomplished the 7 miles, but I missed hot yoga (by about 10 minutes, but I think the extra couple of snooze button pushes was worth it).

For a holiday, there were a decent amount of people on the trail.  And I'm happy to say I passed at least 3 people.  I'm not super competitive (really, I'm not) except with myself.  But I do set goals for myself, like reeling in the person in front of me.

My knee felt fine - a twinge here and there, but nothing extraordinary.  Yahoo!  I did notice I had a slight weird feeling on the top of my foot, but I didn't think too much of it as it would come and go.  I got back to my car and looked down.  Blood!  Not a lot, but I had bled through my sock and shoe.  Turns out my shoe was apparently aggravating the top of one of my toes.  I know I've worn these shoes before.  But maybe not for long distances?  Maybe these are short distance shoes?  Or, maybe these are gym shoes only.  They are being retired from long distances.

You might have to look really, really, really close as it is an infinitesimal amount of blood.  But it is there! :)  My first real "war" story from walking. 

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Week in Review

Me: Hello?
Caller: Is Kevin there?
Me: No, I'm sorry I think you have the wrong number.
Caller: This isn't XXX-XXX-XXXX?
Me: Nope
Caller: Are you sure?

I don't know why but this cracked me up but it did.  I mean, I think I know my own phone number. 

Official "training" posts and plans will start soon, including what Sept/Oct half marathon I've decided on.  Soon, as in two weeks after my busy time at work.  Until then another week in review of what has been keeping me busy.

Monday:  An early morning two mile walk through the woods.  But only bunnies this morning!  And then since my hair cut was moved, I ended up at hot yoga.  Oh my gracious, this was a super tough class.  But I survived.

Wednesday:  30 lengths in the pool (I was running late and not quite feeling the thing so I cut it down.)

Saturday: About a 4 mile walk (About since I still haven't set up my Garmin.  I know, I know.  It's actually a bad habit of mine to buy something and then wait forever before using it.)

Sunday:  12 mile bike ride - this was not the easiest ride.  On the way back I was riding into a headwind.  It wasn't a bad headwind (I've had worse) but there were times I felt I was moving backwards.  I was just struggling to push through.  Little by little..  I just was not feeling this ride and was so thankful when it was over!!  But the good news - I finished my ride and my knee did well!  It might be soon to start trying out hills...

Happy 4th of July!!

Friday, July 01, 2011

Summer Colors Week: Red

Woohoo!!  Reddy Red Friday!  And so ends Summer Colors Week.  Thanks for playing along!